PM: “Military service should be valued as highly as the authority of Armed Forces”
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Chaired by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, the interagency commission on defense reform held its first meeting. In addition, the Commission has the task of increasing the effectiveness of the fight against perverse phenomena in the army.
Addressing the meeting, the Prime Minister noted: “Why was it necessary to create such a commission? I have said it several times and now I wish to emphasize that the army and the Armed Forces stand for an undisputed authority in the Republic of Armenia. At the same time, we have a strange situation, when the military service does not correspond to the authority of the armed forces, and we have set a task to raise the authority of army service up to the authority of the Armed Forces.”
Touching upon the question of why this commission was created under the Security Council, outside the Ministry of Defense and outside the General Staff of the Armed Forces, the Prime Minister said: “You know that huge reforms have been taking place in the Armed Forces during this period, these reforms are being implemented in full , and these reforms have a clear vision, strategy and tactics. Of course, the reforms should continue, and at the same time, we need to be able to form an external view of this issue, and it is for this purpose that the commission has been formed under the Security Council.”
Nikol Pashinyan noted that the group includes deputy heads of several departments, and this approach was chosen so that the discussions were as far from the influence of the political situation and influence.
“The decisions and approaches adopted by consensus are likely to be implemented in the same way, and in all cases when an agreement is not reached, we will discuss the results within the Security Council in the format of the government and will try to reach agreement on these issues,” the Prime Minister noted.
Nikol Pashinyan stressed that considerable progress was achieved in terms of preventing and suppressing vicious phenomena in the army in 2019.
“In 2019, casualties reached a historic low in the Armed Forces at least in terms of statistics, but you may know that early this year we witnessed some outburst in casualties and each such incident was given a strong public response. Not only a public outcry, but above all a strong response from the Ministry of Defense, the General Staff, the government, and our task is to increase the effectiveness of management tools for these situations and problems. And the recent events have led us to the idea that we may need to more carefully study the cause-effect relationships of these events and come to conclusions. During this time, many stakeholders came up with proposals and recommendations, and now we need to process the proposals and make relevant decisions,” the Premier said.
Prime Minister Pashinyan expressed hope that the Commission’s activities will help develop an efficacious program of reforms. “Today we must state that the format of the commission is formed in such a way that we can implement the following principle: any idea is subject to discussion, but the presence of an idea and its submission for discussion does not predetermine any decision, and as there are a lot of ideas, we want to discuss all these ideas in order to form a common attitude. So, I wish the Commission successful proceedings,” the Head of Government concluded.
Issues related to the Commission’s further activities were next discussed during the meeting.